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Lisa's Story

What Do You Mean By "Doing the Footwork"?  ~ by Lisa

Soon after I got into OA I heard "Let go and let God."  Later it was "Just do the footwork."  I tried to understand how I was suppose to turn things over to my Higher Power, but also do the footwork.  I couldn't figure it out.  What was the difference between taking back control of something and just "doing the footwork"?

Eventually I did come to understand.  Awareness came with one of the first loving acts I started to do for myself.  I started to wear my lap belt when I drove.  I have the automatic shoulder strap seat belt in my car, but for years I would never use the lap belt.  I figured, "Oh well, I want to die anyway, why bother."  My husband would remind me to put it on when I was in the car with him.  Occasionally I would do so just to appease him, but I never told him my thoughts.

Soon after working the steps I began using my seat belt.  Amazing!
Sometimes I would reach  down and touch it just to remind myself that, yes I do love and care for myself.  That was such a difficult sentence to say to myself the first time.  Eventually I started saying, "See HP, I'm doing the footwork."  It was comforting to know that I was taking some positive action on my part, and communicating with my HP too.  I remember the old-timer's saying "Faith without works is dead."

Eventually I began doing a lot more things as I started working the steps that would be considered "the footwork".  I found myself making my bed in the morning, I pulled the drapes, I began answering the phone, sometimes I even placed the calls!  I continued using the other tools of the program: meetings, literature, writing, anonymity, and service.  I used the tool of sponsorship and got a sponsor.   Soon I became a sponsor.  Though I was releasing weight, I still struggled with the tool of "plan of eating".

When I lost my sponsor I had to be vulnerable once more and reach out again and get  another sponsor.  This asking for help part was really hard for me.   But I said I would go to any length, right?  Still God works in his own way and his own time. Most recently, with the help of my  new sponsor, I started developing and using a plan of eating that was right for me and all my allergies.

But the most important action, and the hardest, I took was I asking for help when I need it.  Whether  it's from my sponsor, another OA'er, or my HP.  Now that's doing the footwork.  And it keeps me abstinent.  These days I always use my lap belt.  When I do so I feel the love of my HP returned.

Such a small gesture, putting on a lap belt, but now it contains so much
significance.  It's like a quick little prayer or meditation.  Plus it makes me realize how far I have come in this program.

Recovery Slogan:  If God is your co-pilot, SWITCH SEATS!  ~ Anonymous